Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

Reader Feedback: Re: Beneš debate 'dangerous', By Tom Nicholson, Vol. 8 No. 11, March 25-31

As far as the lasting injustice of the Beneš Decrees goes, let me give you an example.

Janos lives and works on the farm his family owned for generations. He is lucky to survive the second world war on the food his land produces. One day the war is over, and the Czechoslovaks come back. There is a new law that declares every Hungarian collectively guilty, all their property is confiscated by the state, and most lose their citizenship too. His farm is given to a Slovak, Pavol, who never had to pay for it. A few years later come the commies, and they collectivise all land, including Janos' farm.

We skip a few decades, it's now the 1990s. The collectivisation process is reversed, and guess who gets the farm back? Not Janos, whose ancestors ploughed that land for centuries, but Pavol. You call that justice? I call it racial discrimination. It's a simple choice - give something back to the original owner, or to some one else by virtue of his ethnicity.

It IS possible to treat minorities like first class citizens. Why does Slovakia continue to treat its Hungarians as second class?


Top stories

In praise of concrete

It was once notorious for its drab tower blocks and urban crime, but Petržalka now epitomises modern Slovakia.

Petržalka is the epitome of communist-era architecture.

Slow down, fashion

Most people are unaware that buying too many clothes too harms the environment.

In shallow waters, experts are expendable

Mihál says that it is Sulík, the man whom his political opponents mocked for having a calculator for a brain, who “is pulling the party out of liberal waters and towards somewhere completely different”.

Richard Sulík is a man of slang.

Blog: Exploring 20th century military sites in Bratislava

It seems to be the fate of military sites and objects in Bratislava that none of them were ever used for the purposes they were built for - cavernas from WWI, bunkers from WWII, nuclear shelters or the anti-aircraft…

One nuclear shelter with a capacity for several hundred people now serves as a music club with suitable name Subclub (formerly U-club).